I would like to begin by taking a quick moment to welcome everyone to my new blog – a space I intend to use to showcase some of my work, and which I one day hope to grow in to a collection of photographs from my life and travels. I hope you enjoy the pictures and posts that I publish over the coming months and years, as I am sure I will enjoy compiling them.
For my first post, I would like to share some images taken on my first solo travelling experience. I was fortunate enough in 2013 to have the opportunity to go to Thailand alone and participate in two weeks of conservation-based volunteering activities. I was seventeen at the time, and it was during this trip that I first began to think of photography as something that I could see myself enjoying as a hobby, and maybe one day as a career.
The volunteer roles I undertook included beach cleaning, underwater surveys, community outreach through local schools, and assisting at the Phuket Biological Research station caring for turtles prior to their release from the sanctuary. Unfortunately I am not sure what species the turtles featured in these images are (I believe there may be a mixture), but I was lucky enough to later see more in the wild, including young hawksbills, a species which is easily identified by the jagged edges of their shells.
Off the cost of Ao Nang, a small fishing village near Krabi, I learned to SCUBA dive among some of the most beautiful marine wildlife I have seen in my short life so far. In our free time, my new friends and I would catch longtail boats to nearby beaches and hike through the forest wearing flip flops. We were able to sample the incredible culture while there as well; a personal highlight involved climbing all 1,237 steep stone steps to reach the infamous Tiger Temple. It was, overall, an incredible trip that I will remember for many years to come.
While I may not have had access to the equipment I have today (these pictures were taken on my mother’s old Panasonic LUMIX), and these photographs were quite clearly all taken in captivity, I’m proud of them and what they represent to me – the start of a real passion and my first step towards realising my potential as a nature photographer; a journey that, I assure you, is very much on-going.
My only regret is that I did not take more photos while there – unfortunately, the time constraints of our volunteering, combined with the typical pre-monsoon season rains and my own camera inexperience, meant the images I returned with were not quite of the quality or quantity I have come to expect of myself.
Still, this small collection remains dear to me. It reminds me not only of how far I’ve come, but also of how far I have to go.